heka has shared new track “no one” as a part of Fire Talk Records’ imprint label Open Tab new launch singles series which includes the likes of “I Am The Car” by Fake Fruit, “Winter is Over” by Goo, “Spiral in Houston” by Frances Chang, and “Now It’s Gone” by Maria BC.
heka evokes her signature style of melancholic breeziness and comforting beats to a T on “no one”. Her harmonic vocals and minimalist guitar create a soundscape that feels as though you’re floating through a daydream of sound. Never resting on a movement or melody, heka finds new ground at every turn of this track with the only repetition coming from the lyrics of “Nobody ever gets this close anymore”, making their prominence ever more significant.
Speaking about the track heka said:
“The pivoting lyric of this track,’ nobody ever gets this close anymore’, is something someone said to me once. It filled me with sadness even though I couldn’t fully understand the sentiment behind it at the time, and made its way to my brain, clinging to it,waiting to be experienced.Years later – when I’d finally understood what it meant to feel like that- this song was born”
Kathleen Frances has shared new single “Shout Love”, her first single of the year following on from “Define”, released last year. The songwriter and producer has also announced her first London headline show at Servant Jazz Quarters on 24th November.
Over a rolling and memory-inducing piano line Frances uses her natural baritone to sooth and comfort in the face of despair. “No I won’t save my breath / No I won’t come to tend / Oh but I shout love” she declares as the chorus gently rises, proving that she won’t back down any longer, instead face the world head on. The gently flowing instrumentation acts as a cloud to support Frances’ words, carrying her message far and wide.
Explaining about the track Frances said:
“This was written on my bed in the middle of the night. The summer of the pandemic. I was feeling pretty low and anxious during this time, probably like many other people. I was letting the shit get to me and I wrote this as an almost aggressive positive response. I chose, in that moment, to marvel at the absurdity of the world. Rather than instilling existential dread it inspired a drive to shout out whatever I wanted to bring/do/be in this life, no holding back”
Karima Francis has shared new single “Say“, her first single of the year and first piece of new music since last years “Carelessness Causes Fire”. After listening to The War On Drugs’ Lost In The Dream, Francis sought to find her new sound in LA and although Adam Granduciel and co. inspired the move, the ever-fruitful LA singer-songwriter scene kept her hooked.
“Say” oozes with a natural essence of despair that can only be found on the most intimate of songs. You can hear the battle that Francis is facing against herself at every moment as her swooning vocals sail over the breezy instrumentation. There’s a sultry swing to the new single that feels like you’re battling through the storm that encompasses Francis mind, each beat a further hardy step that she’s trying to take.
Speaking to the song, she said:
“”Say” is about the isolation caused by Covid -19 and how that can impact relationships closest to you. The song lyrics came to me whilst I was one may daily run, the whole cycle of Covid repetition was becoming overwhelming. My ongoing battles with CPTSD (complex post-traumatic stress disorder) became more outward and started to impact those around me.”
For as much as many aspects of the music world have been delayed or seem to be coming together at at their own pace, Chloe Foy takes that to the extreme. Originally releasing her debut single “In The Middle Of The Night” way back in 2013, Foy has spent the majority of the last decade carefully building up an admiring fan base through her string of singles and festival slots, namely SXSW in 2018, Greenman and Cambridge Folk Festival in 2019. For Foy though her musical journey has been over a lifetime. Originally training in classical music, she then moved onto more “modern” styles of playing music, beginning to slowly craft her way as a singer-songwriter through open-mic nights and support tours with the likes of Jesca Hoop.
Where Shall We Begin feels like a summation of everything Foy has built up to this point. It captures her natural aura through its swooning and serene ballads. Detailing the loss she felt of loosing her father at a young age whilst also offering a light in the darkest days. And it radiates with a natural flair of ambient joy, drawing you in with its carefully planned guitar movements and sweeping string sections all whilst Foy serenades with her ever dazzling and encapsulating vocals. We caught up with Chloe to learn all about her journey up to this point.
How long has the album been in the works?
Quite a long time actually! I’ve been doing music now for a good while and I’ve always wanted to do an album. But it’s about having the resources to be able to do it. The songs on the album are kind of a variety, as it’s pulling together songs from what feels like a long time as well as more recent songs. I started recording it in early 2019 and then I did a few more songs at the beginning of 2020. So it was ready to go at the beginning of 2020, but then it wasn’t the best time to put it out. So it feels like it’s been a long time coming.
Have any of the older songs changed over this time or are they fairly true to what they originally were?
One in mind when I talk about older songs is “Bones”. It’s the same in its core and its structure, but the arrangement changed for it. I’d never really played it with a fuller arrangement, it had only been me and an acoustic guitar before. So it was really nice to add elements to it. I’d had ideas for it over the years so it was nice to bring those to life.
Has the album been almost a documentation of your life over all these years?
Yeah I think so in many ways. I suppose the main theme of the album is the fallout of having lost my dad quite young. So the songs are often touching on those themes but they were written at different times. It’s a reflection of that grief that people go through. It’s not all about that, but a lot of the subject matter was triggered from there. “Where Shall We Begin” for example isn’t necessarily about that, but the questions posed by it are a result of having lost someone. And the more recent songs have a more hopeful tone and are focused on the people I have in my life now. It definitely marks a journey in that way.
Has the album evolved with you?
Absolutely in so many ways. Whether it’s the themes it touches on and the subject matter and my ability to process those things in the way I write as well. And also my journey through the recording process as there’s always a bit of a learning curve. When you first step into a studio you can be quite daunted by it, or at least I was. But the process of recording a full length record and the environment in which we did it, at Penthouse Sound Studio in Manchester, I think really enabled me to grow a bit and gave me a comfortable space to experiment with what I like to do in the studio as i’d not really had that before.
Did working with the producers and other musicians involved help you realise what you wanted the songs to be?
Yeah definitely as that’s part of the process. I co-produced it with Harry Falson-Smith and we worked on demoing the songs out prior to getting to the studio, otherwise I think that they’re can be a lot of pressure when you get into the studio. If you don’t really have some framework or plan then that can sometimes be a really nice thing and make for a really nice process. But other times it’s better to go in with some idea. So that process of demoing them out did help me to realise what I wanted in the songs.
With the main theme of the album focusing on your dad’s passing, do you feel that your parents have influenced the album in others ways? Even musically?
Yeah absolutely. My parents weren’t ever musicians themselves but they were big fans of music, my mum still is. I’ve got slightly older parents for my age, they were teenager of the late 60’s and early 70’s. So as a result I ended up listening to quite a lot of that classic song-craft. There wasn’t anything wildly interesting about them really, but they had a good a good canon of people to choose from. It was Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell which sound a bit obvious now, but that’s what they grew up with. And then The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, people like Elvis Costello. And a lot of blues music was played in the house so that was my base really, before I started to go off and find my own interests and artists that I loved. So they definitely influenced where I’m at musically.
Did those artists influence your writing in anyway being the first people you listened to?
I think they must have been, actually more subconsciously. At the time that I was writing as a teenager I was listenting to all sorts and I was very much into reading the NME and it was the time when indie bands were having a bit of a resurgence. Bands like The View and people like that. I also remember loving Katie Tunstall. So I think those classic songwriters like Dylan and Mitchell influenced my songwriting sensibilities, but as a teenager I don’t think I was appreciating them. I was looking for my own path and I still am, but I always end up going back to those more classic songwriters.
Aside from them, who or what is the biggest influences for your songwriting?
I find myself always referring to fellow female musicians of today. They inspire me a lot because of what they’re doing and the visibility of what they’re doing. People like Sharon Van Etten, Jesca Hoop and Bedouine. Kate Stables from This Is The Kit. All of those people are the inspire me now but as well you’re constantly discovering new things as well. I’m also very much a people watcher so i’m very interested by people and their interactions with the world. So observing what’s going on around me and then definitely the world around us in terms of the natural world. Especially in the last year, it’s been particularly helpful in lots of ways.
Did you reconnect with natural world this past year?
Yeah definitely. I grew up in the middle of nowhere in the countryside. And then for last 8 years i’ve been living in Manchester. Covid meant then that I moved out of Manchester and was back in the countryside in Gloucestershire and Wiltshire and it’s been a real source of solace. It always had been but i’d never taken the time to make sure i was in nature often and it’s incredibly soothing, you can find peace so easily. There’s no judgement from a bird is there? Haha. So it’s an easy place to be.
Do you think that natural connection is something we need as humans?
Absolutely, I think so. It’s one of things where it feels like a lightbulb moment but it’s also been really obvious. I always knew that and I’ve grown up in a family that really have an appreciation for the natural world and they’re all country bumpkins. But it’s that realisation at the moment of “This was totally obvious all along”. And it makes sense that we as humans need to take it back to basics a bit as it’s all got a bit convoluted, so our focuses are on slightly strange things compared to what they should be as humans. We’re not feeding our souls as much as we should be.
We just need to settle down really!
So you have a background in classical music as well, when did that begin?
Quite early on. That’s actually where I started I suppose. My parents always wanted to give me the chance to play so they got together what money they had and put that towards me going to this Saturday school when I was about 5. I didn’t pick up an instrument until I was 8 because the Saturday school was a classical music school, but it was all about learning rhythm and movement through music at a really tiny age. So I picked up the cello when I was 8 and I suppose the informed a lot of my experiences through music, right through to when I went to university. I was playing in orchestra and singing in choirs, so in terms of performing music that was always my experience of it. But it’s funny because I wasn’t really engaging in that kind of music outside of that. I wasn’t actively going to listen to Vaughan-Williams unless I needed to for homework. So it’s been interesting because I’ve moved away from that since leaving university and I would like to do more of it, but going as far as university and doing wasn’t perhaps the best thing for me. I came out a singer-songwriter who was happier doing open mic nights in Manchester than I was playing the cello. But it certainly informs the way I arrange songs, the harmonies I use and my love for a lot of vocal harmonies and the use of strings, that kinda thing. It’s ever present. And the way I use melody as well and the way I choose to resolve, is perhaps informed by that side of things.
How much of your classical background fed into the album?
There’s a song on the album called “And It Goes” and it has this moment where it strips back to just vocals and layered vocals. And that feels very inspired by that, not just in terms of the fact that there’s vocal harmonies, but in the way that the harmony is employed. I think i’ve ripped off a classical composer in the way that it moves because it’s quite a lullaby. But it’s fine when they’re not alive right?
Haha yeah sure, why not. They’re not gonna know.
But yeah the way the strings moves are quite classical.
“Work Of Art” is about having those connections with people in a room appreciating music. Does it feel nostalgic looking back at concerts now?
Yeah! Isn’t that strange? I don’t really know what it’s gonna be like when I do go back. And it’s strange to be looking back at only last year. I was lucky enough to tour at the beginning of last year before it all happened. There’s definitely a sense nostalgia.
What is it about people gathered in a place to appreciate art that makes it so magical?
I’ve never put it into words. But I think it’s the thing that gave me the bug, even when I was performing in a more classical sense as a kid. Maybe it’s because I’m a Leo and I like to be the centre of attention secretly haha. There’s just something about that exchange. And even when i’m watching music there’s something so moving about music and it’s the fact that you’re all experiencing it together collectively. And again it’s about getting to the root of what makes us all human. It’s become apparent to me, especially in the last year that that is collective experience as we’ve almost become shadows of our former selves without the ability to exchange with one another. Wether that’s the ability to just talk about something to each other face to face. Experiencing art is great, but experiencing it with other people, you don’t even have to be talking about it, but there’s something about the presence of a lot of people in a room. There’s studies about the psychological impact of it, people experiencing something together communally. And also if there’s shared themes then you’re bound to be connecting with someone on some level subconsciously. Either you’ve gone through the same thing that that person is singing about, or you interpret from it what you can.
At the core of it is just having those connections with people.
Yeah absolutely. And it doesn’t need to be as literal as people talking in a room. We can be an audience facing a band and that can be a moment of communication.
How are you feeling about getting back to playing shows? Are you nervous or excited?
A bit of both essentially. It’s really strange announcing shows for one because I think I, along with a lot of fellow musicians this year, have gotten out of the habit of getting hopeful because we’ve been let down so many times. It’s weird knowing that that’s on the horizon in October for me. But there’s part of your brain going “But is it really going to happen?”. I’m just really excited to get back in a room playing. For me doing this as a job is wonderful, but it’s not fulfilled completely unless you get to go out and share it with people. There is part of me that’s a little apprehensive because I think everything has changed now and I don’t know how it will be to interact. It will probably be fine because humans are amazing and resilient, but I’m very sensitive to people who are more reticent to go out and interact with people.
Finally, if anything, what would be something you would change about the music industry?
The word “democratic” keeps coming to mind. I would free it from the grips of big corporations and make it a little fairer in that way. The majority of it is still a preserve of people who can afford to do it. People who can afford to live in London for nothing whilst they pursue their music career. And I would say it’s not very accessible, so across the popular music industry and the classical music industry I would love it if more people could access it and experience it. Not to say that everyone should make a career out of it, but they have the chance at it.
Where Shall We Begin is out now, available to stream everywhere and buy here.
Maple Glider, the project of Tori Zietsch, has today announced her debut album To Enjoy Is The Only Thing, set to be released on June 25th via Partisan Records (pre-order here) Alongside the announcement she has shared new single “Swimming” along with an accompanying music video directed by Bridgette Winten who directed the videos for previous singles “As Tradition” and “Good Thing”
On To Enjoy is the Only Thing, written whilst Zietsch lived in Brighton in the UK, she compiles a striking set of vignettes from her life; growing up in a restrictive religious household, falling in and out of love, cross-country and international travel, longing, alienation and more. Moments both unremarkable and life-altering, but always deeply felt, brought to vivid life by the beauty of Tori’s artistry and wry sense of dark humor.
Speakin on the new single “Swimming,” Zietsch said:
“This was meant to be a love song, but by the time I finished it, it kind of predetermined a break-up. I’d been experiencing some of the most beautiful places I’d ever been in, and falling out of love was very confusing. I was trying to force myself to be happy and in love, but I was far from home, and really lonely. It made sense to record the song after the break-up. I kind of felt like I was able to handle the sincerity of it then.”
Following the dissolution of a previous musical project in early 2018, Zietsch left Melbourne and moved to the seaside town of Brighton. It was there she began to work on solo material, drawing from bouts of homesickness, basking in the lengthy European summer hours and writing non-stop. She returned to Melbourne late 2019 with a SoundCloud account full to capacity of demo uploads, enlisting Tom Iansek (Big Scary, #1 Dads, The Paper Kites, Hockey Dad) to produce and record the songs that would eventually form, To Enjoy is the Only Thing.
Elaborating further on her vision for the project, Zietsch describes:
“This is what the album looks like to me: walking past tinsel covered trees in mid-September, swimming along the calanques in the south of France, car-bonnet frost, darkness at 4pm, lightness until 10pm, a muted feeling, the perpetual grey fog that swallows the Silver Coast, the colour red, this ugly green dress, red wine, red blood, red lips, red is the colour of the cardinal’s robe, Switzerland, my mother’s diaries, a coroner’s report, the sun on my face, the end of love…”
Anna Leone has shared a hauntingly beautiful and intimate new single, “Still I Wait”, produced by Paul Butler (Michael Kiwanuka, Hurray For The Riff Raff) and released via AllPoints/Half Awake. Released alongside a new video shot on The Azores, “Still I Wait” follows Leone’s first single of 2021, “Wondering”. A winner at the 2020 Music Moves Talent Awards (alongside Flohio, girl in red and Pongo), Stockholm native Leone emerged in 2018 with her debut EP Wandered Away.
The new single speaks on Leone’s introverted nature as she searches for answers within her comfort zone of herself. Over sparse guitars Leone’s vocals are intimate and yet abundantly emotion fuelled, with you left clinging onto every melody and lyric.
Shooting on the Azores archipelago with Savannah Setten (who also shot the video which accompanied “Once”), the revealing, fly-on-the-wall video for “Still I Wait” taps into the silvery track’s counsel for acceptance of vulnerability. Speaking about what she & Savannah wanted to achieve through their collaboration, Anna notes;
I’ve usually been alone in my music videos, this is the first time I’ve worked with other people on-screen. It was interesting to depict loneliness in a different way. How people can be close together but still feel disconnected and how it can be a challenge to reach out in isolation. It definitely wasn’t made with a quarantine situation in mind but it ended up being strangely reflective of the times.
Naarm/Melbourne-based singer-songwriter, Maple Glider, has announced her joining the Partisan Records roster (Laura Marling, Fela Kuti, IDLES, Fontaines D.C.) in partnership with the Australian label, Pieater. In celebration of this news, Maple Glider (A.K.A. Tori Ziestch) has shared a new single and video for “Good Thing” – a song born of that frozen and fretful time just before you’re going to hurt someone you have loved by leaving them.
Ziestch explains: “I wrote this song out of a place of defeat. I was really heartbroken at this point, and very confused. I like the feeling of my independence and I think I was afraid of putting energy into the wrong people. Sometimes we make decisions out of fear and sometimes it’s because we know that it is the best decision to make. Those lines can get very blurry.”
The accompanying video was made with creative collaborator and housemate Bridgette Winten in the 5km radius around their Brunswick, Melbourne home (a limit due to Covid lockdown measures). Working with colour and contrast, and shot on Super 8, Maple Glider sweetly plays off her surroundings, whether it’s lush creek-beds or stark industrial wastelands.
Meg Duffy certainly has many acclaims under their belt, aside from the Hand Habits solo project they’ve recorded with the likes of The War On Drugs, Weyes Blood and William Tyler, also making up a part of Kevin Morby’s live band. And although this EP may be only two tracks, or three if you count the digital exclusive remix of “What’s The Use” from their sophomore album Placeholder, they pack so much vibrancy within this small amount of space that this is certainly another accolade they can hang on their already bountiful mantle of achievements.
“4th of july” opens with Duffy’s signature stripped back feel, over dissonant chords that gently build with fluttering vocal layers and tambourines until the huge cacophony of pounding drums and soaring harmonies takes the track to an incredible height of emotional intensity. All whilst Duffy’s laidback vocals ooze with a natural cool that invites you in and lets you stay for the whole journey. “But don’t cry, demolition baby, Always blowin’ it up, And getting so stuck, Both hands in the dirt” they sing on the emphatic chorus and bathe in the notion persistence. No matter the challenges they face, and the chaos that may surround them, Duffy is assuring the listener that if you work on it, with both hands in the dirt, you’ll get there.
When it comes to covering Neil Young, there always has to be an aspect of respect given to the original recordings, not to sound exactly the same, but also a touch of innovation that allows a cover to become unique. Thankfully Duffy’s cover of “I Believe In You” from Young’s critically acclaimed 1970 album After The Gold Rush has both of those aspects in bounds. Produced by roommate Kyle Thomas (King Tuff) the cover has a certain air of nostalgia coated over the sound. Whether it be from the slow chugging grit infused guitar, or the distant sparkle of piano interludes this track feels both fresh and yet comfortably reminiscent. Surrounded by Duffy’s warming doubled vocals, the track moves from strength to strength as new distant sounds and flourishes are introduced.
Then the remix of “what’s the use” brings a new sense of surrealness to Hand Habit’s sound that wouldn’t be found on any of their previous works, yet still feels in character. Through glitchy vocal manipulation and driving beats this sound is at times weird and at other times alluring. From it’s indie folk roots to almost hyper-pop new form it serves as both a showcase of Duffy’s natural vocal flair and Katie Day’s ability for sonic manipulation.
This EP is significantly shorter than anything else in the Hand Habits catalogue, but that doesn’t mean it’s any part less enjoyable. Rather standing as an insight into where Duffy might be taking the project next, and what has lead us along this gratifying journey so far. If you’re looking for a 10 minute way to make your day better, this is certainly it.
Arizona based Folk, drone and experimental artist Karima Walker returns after 4 years with the follow up to 2017’s magical Hands In Our Names. Walker originally began constructing this album in 2019 when she flew to New York to work with The Blow’s Melissa Dyne, however illness forced Walker back home and the pandemic ensured that travel wasn’t possible. Walker then began to finish the album in her makeshift home studio through various “messy Ableton sessions”. The result is an album that shifts and twirls through swaying ambient landscapes, intertwined with folk ballads that allow Walker’s poetry to blossom in the openness and freedom of this album. “Every morning feels like, waking the dreaming body” she sings on title track “Waking The Dreaming Body ” and this feeling of half consciousness is one that can be felt throughout this album.
The sound manipulation and design is perhaps the most revered aspect of this album, pulling together real world sounds and hazy synthesiser sounds to consistently create truly enticing, warming and sometimes uneasy soundscapes that you truly lose yourself in, fading between two worlds. The start of “Window I” opens with some hauntingly beautiful lo-fi piano, that would be a hip-hop artists dream to sample, the crusty layers and grained sound is so comforting and yet longingly distant. Then the latter half of the track perfectly blends the rolling of ambient sounds and wave noises, fused to create a hazy dreamlike surrounding that slowly fades in and out, just when you think the sound is gone it creeps back in for another roll. And on “Horizon, Harbor Resonance” the track diverts through so many layers and levels of different ambient sounds throughout its 13 minute run time that you’re not quite sure where you came from or where you’re going next, but in this fantasy world that Walker creates it somehow makes sense.
The composition of these tracks are created in two worlds, one where everything flows smoothly and the other where the disjointed is the flowing force that shifts these sounds from movement to movement. On “Window II” the harp plucks may not be as flowing or elegant as fellow contemporary ambient artist Mary Lattimore, but they serve as more of an erratic and glitchy surrounding that amplifies the dream like feeling that Walker sings of. Fluttering about the soundscape, being reversed and played forward in ever changing motion. Whereas closer “For Heddi” feels like the breath of fresh air in the early morning, as the dancing synth melody guides the song along, the deep bass swells take you into the real world with their almost meditative feel.
After being forced to stay at home whilst writing this album the real world of Walker’s surroundings began to play their part in the formation of these songs. She intertwines these within the poetry elements of songs like on opener “Reconstellated” she sings “Sonoran sky plays a movie, Draw a line to the stars inside of me, Write it down, tell your friends, I know where I am but I can’t tell where I started” referencing the desert in Arizona. Even through the poetry of these songs Walker is still as mystifying as ever; never giving clear ground to what’s real and what’s figment.
“Sitting still in the movement of not knowing, where you are, where you were and where you’re going” she sings on “Softer” over the gently plucked guitar movements and this statement perhaps sums up the journey this album takes you on. One things for certain however, this blissful journey that Walker sails you through is one of mystique and wonder and once it’s over, like a dream, you try to recall the details but all you can remember is the wonder you felt along the way.
Tamara Lindeman has embraced the motion of becoming a front woman, and The Weather Station’s sound is all the brighter for it. This is the fourth album from folk singer-songwriter Tamara Lindeman and co. under The Weather Station moniker, following on from 2017’s self titled The Weather Station. With over 10 years under their belt the Canadian outfit have shifted and changed a fair bit in that time, coming from their simple guitar lead folk beginnings they now return with an album that’s as full of grandeur as it is heartbreak.
Throughout this album Lindeman wears the weight of the world on her shoulders, quite literally on “Wear” as she sings “I tried to wear the world like some kinda garment”, questioning her own comfort in the world. It can be hard sometimes to differentiate whether she sings of heartbreak in her personal life or of the world around her, but this only adds to the depth that is felt within Lindeman’s words. On “Seperated” she sings of the way in which the world communicated with each other through social media, and the vast divide in opinions that leads to great levels on disparity. “Separated by all the arguments you lose, Separated by all the things you thought you knew”. Taken out of context however you would assume she is referencing lost love.
That’s not to say however there aren’t some true moments of heartbreak sewn within. “Loss” revels in the realisation that accepting pain is often easier than trying to tell yourself that it’s not there. “Loss is loss, Is Loss” she assuredly repeats on the chorus; repetition as of hope to remember. Then closer “Subdivisions” breathes through its piano ballad verses and excruciatingly beautiful chorus deliveries to sing of a journey of escape, only to come to the revelation that maybe it was all a mistake. “What if I misjudged, In the wildest of emotion, Did I take this way too far?” Lindeman sings as the song closes out, and this question is left open to ponder with nothing left to say.
Taking from that notion however she looks to nature to find the beauty that still thrives throughout the world. “You know it just kills me when I, See some bird fly” she remarks on “Parking Lot”, revelling in the notion of the way society must be perceived by nature and the parallel beauty and sadness of knowing that they can do nothing against the destruction we cause. On “Atlantic” she muses in the notion of trying to turn yourself away from the tragedies of the modern day “Thinking I should get all this dying off of my mind, I should really know better than to read the headlines”. Of course we all need breaks at times when looking out into the travesties that happen on a daily basis, sometimes however it feels we can’t escape them and Lindeman invokes this feeling as she closes out the songs with “Oh tell me, why can’t I just cover my eyes?”; she can’t escape the ignorance.
From the minute this album starts you can hear the confidence and emotion pouring out at every seem. The jazz-centric fanfare of “Robber” sets the tone for the whole album, evocative in understated embellishments of emotion. There’s something subtly cool about the instrumentation used in this album, always used as a spacey and flowing backing force for Lindeman’s vibrant storytelling, never becoming to reaching or overpowering. “Parking Lot” feels like it could be a cut straight off of The War On Drugs’ Lost In The Dream as the rolling piano line dances and drives the track along backed with waving violin melodies and a driving groove. There are moments where the stringed sections swoon with pure grace and emotive drive, like on “Separated” that builds to an almost unsettling climax, to be gently backed down by Lindeman’s crooning falsetto. There can be other moments where the instrumentation gets a bit too loose and unmemorable. “Wear” has all the grandiose in its chorus of other cuts on this album but doesn’t offer too much in the way of variety and some of the background flairs feel a bit too last minute.
But perhaps the most understated, yet continually powerful sonic element of this album is Lindeman’s effortlessly cool vocal performance. She never tries to reach out too far beyond her reach, and yet you can hear every last bit of emotion as she narrates this tale of earthly ignorance. She’s not hear to sing her heart out to the heavens, but to give her perspective of a broken world, and well if you want to listen then that’s up to you. At moments her vocals can become buried in the soundscape, becoming intertwined in the backing melodies, however this only makes you appreciate the grander moments even more.
A triumphant and heartbreaking collection of groove filled, challenging and naturally free-flowing songs is the end result of what Lindeman and co. have created here. Not only defining their sound and voice, but refining what The Weather Station can be on a grander and ever expanding scale.